“Alongside the pursuit of justice, we in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America recognize the biblical obligation that each person in society is responsible for the neighbor. No one of us is free to pass by “on the other side” (Luke 10:31-32) and assume that governments and other parties will take care of all obligations for health care. We therefore seek to participate in and supplement health care services out of love for all people who are in need (Matthew 25:36).”  ELCA Social Statement, Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor, 2003

 

ELCA Social Statement, Caring for Health:  Our Shared Endeavor

To access the complete ELCA Social Statement on health, healing and health care… Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor click here.

 

Number of Uninsured Children in Pennsylvania Remains Steady

According to a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, Pennsylvania’s rate of uninsured children has remained steady for the past three years. To learn more and read the full report click here. 

 

New Online Tool Available to Help Combat Opioids

A new online tool is available to help individuals identify drug and alcohol treatment options and support services for themselves or a loved one. The Drug and Alcohol Referral Tool (DART) is not a diagnostic assessment and does not gauge eligibility for any programs. It is designed to assist people who are looking for services but are not sure where to begin. Users get the results based off their answers to survey questions.

DART does not ask any identifying information and does not save answers after it’s closed. After completing the questionnaire, people are able to email, download, and/or print their results. DART is a free, anonymous resource and can be found here.

 

Hospital price transparency and 2019 PA legislative priorities

Healthcare is expensive. Unlike most other expenses in our lives, we almost never know what a medical procedure or treatment cost. Most patients don’t ask their doctor or healthcare provider’s office how much we would pay for treatment before it’s done. That is especially true if the patient has insurance. This Smart Talk Program,  featured on WITF, was aired on January 10, 2019. It was written and produced by Merideth Bucher. Listen and read.

 

HB 1862 – Surprise Balance Billing Protection Act

A bill has been proposed by leadership from both parties in Harrisburg that would protect Pennsylvanians against surprise medical bills. This bill has strong bipartisan support. If passed, HB 1862, the Surprise Balance Billing Protection Act, would be one of the strongest protections in the nation against these unfair bills. Surprise medical billing is a practice that occurs when patients are billed for the balance of the cost of care that wasn’t covered by their insurance. Most of the time, patients are not aware that they received care that wasn’t covered by their insurance policy.

This bill represents the most robust protection for consumers against surprise balance billing. In all situations where consumers encounter hidden or invisible providers or intended to seek in-network care, consumers will not receive a bill, and a fair and equitable process is established for paying providers an in-network rate while ensuring that that rate is calculated accurately by insurance companies. Both providers and insurance companies have stated that their end goal is to keep consumers out of the middle, and this bill does just that.